How to Add Google+ to Your Freelance Marketing Strategy

google+-FreelancerAre you missing out on the business benefits of using Google+ for your marketing strategy?

Despite the fact that Google+ has been public for two years now, there are still some freelancers who don’t use it yet.

I get it. We’re all busy. It takes time to be involved in a social media network. And you don’t think you have that time.

But if you’re leaving Google+ out of your freelance marketing strategy, you’re missing out. That’s true for all freelancers, but it’s especially true if you’re a freelance writer or blogger.

In this post, I’ll explain why Google+ is more important than ever for freelancers. I’ll also explain how you can get started with your Google+ freelance marketing strategy. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Hot Google+ Tips for Freelancers.

Why Google+ Is More Important Than Ever

Google+ is more important than ever. It’s not fading away. And it’s definitely worth it for freelancers to start using this social media tool.

Here are some of the reasons why Google+ should be an important part of your marketing strategy:

  • Second largest social network. Recent studies, such as this one from GlobalWebIndex, show that only Facebook has more users than Google+, which makes Google+ the second largest social network (second only to Facebook). The sheer number of users is enough to make it significant.
  • Google Authorship. For writers and bloggers, Google Authorship is another reason to use Google+. Google Authorship connects your content with your Google+ profile and allows your image and byline to appear in the search engine results next to any content you produce. It’s a nice perk for writers, and you won’t be able to set it up if you don’t have a Google+ profile.
  • SEO benefits. There have been a lot of questions about exactly how a Google+ profile affects search engine results. Authorship is one way, of course. Having a company page on Google+ also gives you more of an online presence, especially when combined with Google Places. The newer search engine algorithms are taking more and more notice of social media participation.
  • Google Drive. Google Drive allows you to share spreadsheets, documents, slides, and other files through Google. Currently, you can store up to 15 GB on your Google Drive without any cost to you. If you work on a team with others or if you must turn in your work for approval, Google Drive is a great option. Your files are secure too because you control who sees them.
  • Business Pages. You can also use Google+ to establish a business page for your freelancing business. Be sure to fill out your Google+ Local Business Profile. If you choose “local business,” Google will include your business reviews in the search results. It will also include your business on Google Maps and in local search results. And Google+ tools like communities make it easy to find relevant contacts.

So, if you’ve been ignoring Google+ in your social media marketing strategy, it may be time to give it a second look.

How to Get Started on Google+

It’s easier to get started on Google+ than most freelancers realize. There’s really no reason for putting it off.

Here’s how you can get started.

  1. Build a strong profile. Give some serious thought to the Story section. You want a tagline and introduction that describes you, yet is interesting. Be as complete as you can in your profile.
  2. Select your Google+ Cover photo. Google+ is very image-oriented, so get creative. You will need both a profile photo and a larger cover image. The right image can say a lot about you and your freelancing business.
  3. Build a Business Page. You may wonder if you need both a Business Page and a personal profile, but I recommend having both. Your personal profile page represents you and your business page represents your business.
  4. Establish and populate your circles. Give your circles names that fit and add the people who make sense to each circle. The circles determine who sees your updates.
  5. Share often. Sharing is the heart of any social media tool, and Google+ is no exception. The more you share high quality content, the better for your freelancing business.
  6. Don’t forget about tools like Google+ Hangouts and Communities. Google+ Communities allows you to connect with others who have similar interests. Use Hangouts for a real-time discussion or training class.

Your Turn

If you’re on Google+, share your best tips and ideas in the comments below.